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Poster: Sluggo714 Date: Jan 11, 2006 1:22am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

Interesting grouping of eras. I'd rather call 'em by name. The Pigpen era, the Kieth and Donna era, the Brent era and the post-Brent.

For me the Pigpen era rings most true, and IMHO the best live stuff the Dead put out was durnig this time (Live Dead, Skullfuck and Europe '72) This was also when the rest of the band were at their best, especially the seminal year of 1972- best Dead sound ever. Jerry rocked, Pig jammed and Bobby wasn't as much at the front as in later years.

The Kieth and Donna era was a mixed blessing. While I loved Kieth's keys, Donna's *cough* "vocals" could ruin a show, especially if she was too loud. I constantly find myself hitting "next" while listening to shows where Donna's voice makes me want to yak. Never heard such excruciatingly horrid Music Never Stoppeds. When Donna was turned down low the sound was incredible.

The Brent phase was the one I actually got to experience first hand. While I truly liked Brent, he would rate well behing both Pig and Kieth as keyboardist, but his energy and voice replaced Donna spectacularly. Not quite up to Pigpen standards, but at least I never had to turn Brent off. During this time Jerry was also a hit or miss proposition. At times spectacular, at times mediocre, especially his vocals.

Post Brent. Eh. Truly forgettable. Weak setlists, uninspired playing. Shoulda quit while they were ahead.

So: 1st: Pigpen era, 2nd Brent Era, 3rd Kieth and Donna, 4th Post Brent

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Jan 11, 2006 7:39am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Best Dead Era?

I wrote the following a week ago, then filed it away as too subjective.

As the posts in this topic reveal, listeners are all over the board and can't be pigeon-holed so easily!

"I think you can catagorize listeners of GD into 3 basic groups:

1. The vast majority prefer live shows from the mid-70's through mid '80's, and often have favorites
as well from the post 1986 years, and have favorites from the Europe 1972 tour, a few from 1971.
On occasion will venture into 1968 - 1970 shows,

Mostly steer clear of 1966 - 1967 and the early studio albums.

Certain primal shows rate highly such as the March 1, 1969 set; the Feb. 14, 1968 show, the NY 1970 shows.

2. The small number of those who love the raw 1966
sets, the 1st Lp and early studio sessions; the short and fast Dark Star versions if any, from 1968.

They rarely listen to live sets after 1969, though some 1970, 1971 and 1972 sets rate highly...
Certain songs such as Unbroken Chain, Alabama Getaway and the 1st Garcia solo album are enjoyed.

There is a sub-group who rarely listen to post 1967 shows, and a further sub-level who prefer the 1965-1967 studio recordings, some of Aoxomoxoa and of course Workingman's, American Beauty, some of Mars Hotel but nothing from Anthem of the Sun ("one long side with no seperation between songs"), or Live Dead.

3. Then there are those who love it all, the live 66 shows as much as the early '90s, though they mostly play the mid-'70s and especially 1977-78."

I know 3 friends besides myself who more or less fall into the 2nd group, 1 in each of the sub-levels of #2 and 1 who fits into the 3rd.

While the 2nd group may sound closed-minded, they're open to less than state of the art recordings,
and may like many different experimental '60s nuggets.